Over the past years we have visited a few zoos in China, Finland and in Germany. We visit especially often the local zoo here in my hometown. Not that we are so fascinated by it but it is a nice little family tour and it is for free for us. Yes, for free as I receive each year from my brother a family card for the zoo so we can go whenever we want there and pay no entrance fee. Anyhow this summer we noticed that it would be nice to go to some new place and this is how I found out about the Arche Warder (Ark Warder). For one it is just 15 minutes away from us by car (I really wonder why I never heard about it before!) and it is more than just a normal zoo.
This zoo is so different as they are specialized on old breeds of livestock which are not used anymore these days and hence are endangered. Some of the animals are even as rare as the Siberian Tiger! Sure it might not be as exciting as other zoos for some people but for us it is a great place, especially with kids. Right when you enter some goats and sheep are coming and waiting to get some attention from the humans. Have you ever patted a sheep? They are sooo fluffy! Also so many animals had still some young ones around, just imagine some piglets running crazily around and making their cute sounds. My wife and Nathan loved particularly one certain baby goat which was so tiny, they tried their best to give it some food but the evil grown ups pushed always in between. Near the entrance is also a wooden cow and you can test your skill in milking it (okay only water coming out but what you expect of a fake cow!!). Lets just say that my wife and my dear mother-in-law did not manage to get any drop out, not even after I explained how to do it properly.
I believe that the animals have a rather good life there. Not just because they get fed all the time what they need but because they have also huge enclosures . Arche Warder is aiming at protecting these old livestock breeds by having breeding projects and don’t just present the animals like in normal zoos. The whole atmosphere was very nice as also the staff busy with cleaning and feeding greeted each person passing by. At the pig enclosures they had a funny feature, an information board where you could press a button and they would “imitate” the sound of the certain pig breed. It is incredible how many different breeds there are and how huge some of them can become. It is in general just surprising how many old livestock breeds exists and how they changed during the decades. Also the information you get there from the staff is great, who would have thought that Pekin Ducks are excellent pets who can build up the same kind of bond with humans what usually only dogs achieve.
You can also support the zoo and have your name then engraved in a wooden pole in a designated area visible for any visitor going around. I would love to support them but this has to wait for some later years as we still have some plans going on at the moment. Right now I hope that we can go there this year again together with my parents. Perhaps they are better in milking the cow than MIL…
More Information about Arche Warder you can also find here on their webpage which has even a page in English
Have you visited a park/ zoo which is aiming in protecting old livestock breeds?
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15 thoughts on “The Arche Warder”
Maybe it is MIL’s evil hands that not a drop came out 😛 It is great to get so close and even pet the animals. A lot of big zoos these days don’t allow you to even touch the animals unless during show or feeding time. I have been to Melbourne Zoo here so many times and the animals are always behind enclosures. Whereas if you go to the smaller zoos the animals are running around, like how the goats were coming for Nathan.
Oh, you might be looking at famous, almost-extinct animals 😀
I prefer this kind of smaller zoos where you have more contact with the animals and also that the staff is more involved/ takes more care to talk with the visitors.
In fact we saw few nearly extinct animals, however I can’t even say what the names where of those ducks and goats 😉
I too prefer the smaller zoos. Up close and personal is usually an unforgettable experience 🙂 Nathan must have had a good time.
Great photos! In my days I haven’t been able to visit a zoo that has focus on protecting old livestock breeds..so I find this rather fascinating.
My daughter is crazy about animals and a place like this would definitely made her day. Great thing that you’ve found out about this place. Such changes being a parent, right?!
Same as the petting zoo, totally different from the caged and more like a display only animals which is typical in zoos.
This post made me excited for our Zoo trip next week!
Thank you, such zoo is just great for a family. Nathan had so much fun with the animals and also fun running away from some sheep in another enclosure 🙂
OMG, loved the photos of cute animals. We also have small zoo like that where you could touch the animals and play with them.
This is really the best part for kids. I think it is nice when you can have a bit more contact with some of the animals. It was also funny that in this park you could brush (with a real brush!) some of the pigs 🙂
It’s a brill day out and cheap for the family? Why not? At least Nathan knows where milk comes from (not from Tesco or whatever supermarket you have there) and that pigs are not stupid and dirty animals. They rolled in mud, otherwise they will get a sun burn. Some farm animals can be playful speaking from my experience.
Thankfully most kids learn here more about where their food comes from. Anyways such trips as this zoo visit are really nice especially as the kids (and adults) can learn more about these animals 🙂
The only zoo I’ve gone to that has a similar vibe is San Diego’s Wild Animal Park. You have to take a trolley to see the animals in their ‘natural’ habitat. Of course, not really, they’re in a zoo, but they have large enclosures like you talked about. Really, do hope this is the new wave of animal care.
Yes, I hope so as well that they change the way they keep animals in zoos. Such big enclosures where you can see that the animals actually enjoy their life more is so much better in my opinion
Absolutely. We should be caring for these animals and preserving them, not making their lives worse.
I really like that the animals are allowed to (almost) roam free, and the focus on old species is very interesting. Your MIL looks a bit uncomfortable with that sheep:):)
In fact MIL is uncomfortable with any animal though she sees herself as the biggest animal friend in the world..